One of the awesome companies that I advise was running their all company kick-off this week.
They have been doing impressive work to become customer centric and are doubling down on that effort in 2018.
I was invited to speak about the journey to becoming a customer centric business to convey to the company why it matters, what the journey looks like and what changes are still required to enable their transformation.
I shared with them Eloqua’s story of change and how the market rewards companies that focus on the customer experience to a tune of 14% faster revenue growth than non-customer focused organizations.
In reviewing where they currently are in their journey, we also looked at the progress they are making against the three key tenets to being customer centric.
For anyone whose company is contemplating making this shift, here are the three key elements that must be in place for an organization to effectively operate in a customer centric manner.
Three Key Tenets to Customer Centricity
Let’s unpack what this means.
The fundamental element in being customer centric is obviously customer thinking.
What is not so obvious is what that exactly means.
Companies often mistake thinking about the customer as being customer centric but in fact to be able to truly drive the outcomes customers are looking for requires vendors to think like the customer.
Customer thinking is all about understanding the customer’s point of view from their perspective, i.e. walking in their shoes, and using that context to inform the narrative for effective product adoption and retention.
The second key tenet of customer centricity is business alignment.
A company can nail customer understanding and context, but if its business operations are setup to support a product centric view of adoption then it is counterproductive to customer centricity.
Think of personal experiences with brands that say one thing only to do another to understand this key element.
The vendor’s business must be aligned to support the customer through the journey to achieve the benefits of being customer centric.
Finally, the objectives of the cross-functional departments and its employees must also be aligned to the customer journey and delivering great customer experience.
If a vendor’s employees are motivated by compensation plans that are at odds with moving customers successfully along the journey, then customer centricity will never be fully realized.
The work effort of every function and role within a company must be accretive to the customer’s experience and driving their product adoption.
When the objectives of employees are aligned with the interests of its customers, then beautiful things happen.
A customer centric organization understands its customer’s objectives, designs business operations to support the customer journey and thinks from the customer’s perspective to drive desired outcomes that will ultimately increase revenue.